Poems by Lily Swarn

Poems by Lily Swarn
 
 
 
Mirza Sahiba
 
A Poetess beyond compare…
The Jand tree is bent double in agony bearing the shame of ignominy
The masjid in Khewa stands silent testimony to the lessons learnt together
The beauteous Sahiba and the valiant Mirza sitting in the madrassa hardly knew the fame that was going to be their lot
Since they had suckled milk from the breast
of the same wet nurse as babies
They had both become brother and sister by tradition !
Providence had other plans as Fateh Bibi , Mirza’s mother sent him to study in the neighbouring village
to live in Khewa Khan’s home
The man who was Sahiba’s father
Little did Mirza’s innocent heart know that it would fall uncontrollably in love with the spell binding magnetism of Sahiba
Such was her aura that legend says men couldn’t take their eyes off her
How could Mirza then not bequeath his life to her
when his eyes fell on her mesmerising looks
As she was buying vegetables outside her house one day
The earth stopped its rotations and revolutions
Time halted in its stride
And Mirza rejoiced in the irradiance of his supreme love
 
Just as Sahiba was celebrated for her beauty
Mirza was applauded as an astounding archer
The likes of whom no had ever seen before
He came to be accepted as the mightiest warrior around due to his unfailing aim
The world ceased to exist for these two lovers
They was a crackle of red hot embers in their love
It is said that the names of Mirza Sahiba are listed last when the legendary lovers of PUNJAB are mentioned
All because there was talk of the intimacy between them which was taboo in that era
The reverence that is accorded to other lovers whose love was platonic and divine is never bestowed on Mirza Sahiba
 
As is the fate of many love sagas
As soon as Sahiba’s fuming father and brothers got wind of this unholy alliance all of the proverbial hell broke loose
Distraught at the girl’s secrecy and the boy’s sneakiness
For they had opened their home and their hearts to Mirza and he was smitten by their Sahiba !
The concept of ‘Milk Siblings ”did not allow such a relationship between them
 
Sahiba wept copious tears , inconsolable and maddened with grief
when her wedding to Tahir Khan was planned by her family
Sahiba resisted ,Sahiba begged
Who listened to girl’s hearts those days ?
As soon as Mirza heard this news
His world came crumbling down like a termite infested wooden house
He rode his trusted horse Bakki and galloped off
to get the love of his life , his ‘”Jaan “,a word that connotes so much more
Life has strange timings alas
It was the day of his own sister’s marriage but there was no stopping Mirza that day
When love beckons it is a divine urge
The thunder of a mountain river in spate in his veins
Mirza listened to no reason
How could anyone else wed his Sahiba
 
Dressed in blood red finery Sahiba looked like a vision from heaven
A hoor from Jannat
Her hands were adorned with mehndi
He whisked her away ,this flaming bundle of embers
The brothers followed in hot pursuit when she was found missing before the Nikaah
 
After riding tirelessly for miles Mirza got weary and decided to rest
Sahiba implored , Sahiba beseeched
“Let us ride on she said
You don’t know my brothers .They will kill you “
Mirza was arrogant for he was smug in the vanity of his unerring archery
He knew he was the mightiest archer for miles around
He was sure of annihilating every one who came close to his Sahiba
 
O dear Lord in Heaven
Mirza did not listen to his Sahiba
He curled up under the Jand tree and dozed off
Sahiba knew that Mirza would not spare her brothers.
Sisterly love befuddled her mind
Legend says she took the arrows out of the blissfully sleeping Mirza’s quiver and broke them all in half
He was left without anything to protect himself
Sahiba in her innocence thought that if she begged her brother’s for Mirza’s life then they would listen to her
She knew they loved her
and would want to see her happy
 
Foolish Sahiba , gave up her besotted lover as sacrifice to the arrows from her brothers’ bows
One arrow punctured Mirza’s throat
He hunted around futilely for his arrows
Horrified at this treachery by his beloved his eyes spoke volumes
Pained and helpless he breathed his last
To give Sahiba her due , it is said that she killed herself
by flinging herself on his dying body
She let the same arrow pierce her
Some say her brothers murdered her for bringing dishonour to the family name
Mirza died feeling deceived , his glazed eyes asking for answers
 
Strangely In all the famous love stories like Heer Ranjha , Sassi Punnu , Sohni Mahiwal
The girl’s name comes first
Only Sahiba is spoken of after Mirza for she betrayed him
Love is forgiving they say
But love must not betray !
 
The aftermath was no less tragic
Mirza’s brothers agonised and brimming with revenge burned down Khewa village
The only surviving structure is the ancient mosque where their love flowered in the Madrassa
Outside the village of Danabad are three graves in a roofless structure with walls
Bakki the faithful horse lies there too
He was killed along with Mirza
 
The graveyard is considered an inauspicious place
Lovers don’t come to pay homage here
The Jand tree looks humble and doubled over
As if guilty for not being able to shelter Mirza
Dust from the winds blows over the neglected graves
Yet love stories have a potent fascinating life of their own
Hear it being sung by a village minstrel
It takes out my guts and brings in the shivers
Such is love my friends !!
Oye Mirzeya !!
 
Copyright Lily Swarn 29.7.2017
 
 
 
Diamonds !
 
Men may think it’s a woman’s last resort
Little do they know what stern clay
the apparently weaker sex are made of ,
The essential condensed emotion squeezed out
Of those limpid pools of nectar is pure holy water
No crocodile is ever acquainted with its potency
The first freshly squashed drop of virginal dew
Hovering inside the Kohl lined eyelids
The doe timidly fluttering her eyelashes
is no simpering baby doll
She is trying very hard to keep her liquid gold safely inside
Willing desperately to stop it from spilling on terra firma
Hearts that are statues of smoking stone
Impervious to shows of such wimpish emotional outbursts
Men roll their eyes , turn away and exclaim “not again !”
 
It’s not a weapon ,it’s not a ruse
It’s the violated 10 year old’s suppressed sobs
It’s the abused wife’s black and blue welts
It’s the war widow’s bucketful
It’s the grief crazed mother’s dead son
 
It’s the end of the tether
It’s the height of a trauma
It’s the bursting of a rain suffused cloud
It’s the crashing of a crescendo
It’s a woman’s tear drop
 
Copyright Lily Swarn 1.8.2017
 
 
 
Lily Swarn
 
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